By Mark Defoe b. 1942 Mark Defoe
I make the drive, walk the corporate walk,
To do what I must and give what I got.
I turn the chrome knob and I fill my slot.
I talk and I joke, a regular guy
I input and output and rarely ask why.

It's pasta and wine at home in my flat.
It's voice mail and e-mail, then feed the stray cat.
Sometimes I go out and chat up the girls.
Some want to tango, some manage a smile.
Some come home and have safe sex for a while.

My sweet IRA, my 401-k,
Let me buy tickets to games, to a play—
I go with the gang and don't get involved.
I fly to St. Croix and stare at the sea.
I travel first class. No day-tripper me.

My stocks are diverse to ride out the storm.
I buy what is solid, hew to the norm.
My portfolio teaches how I should vote.
I'm cautious in style, suspicious of trend.
When weather turns foul I always come in.

This is my choice, my new BoBo life.
A two-career marriage, the tension, the strife—
It didn't last long. We parted as pals.
She got the condo. I got the car.
She's a savvy, cool chick. She'll go really far.

My folks live upstate, where I misspent my youth.
They're tight with their money and long in the tooth.
When I visit it's hard with so little to say.
They miss me, they claim. They worry. They pray.
But they seem relieved when I drive away.

Source: Poetry (April 2003).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2003 issue of Poetry magazine

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April 2003


Poet Mark DeFoe was born in Oklahoma and raised in Kansas. He earned a BA and an MA in English from Oklahoma State University and a PhD from the University of Denver. He is the author of the poetry collections Air (1998), Aviary (2001), The Green Chair (2003), Mark DeFoe’s Greatest Hits (2004), and The Rock and the Pebble (2006), and his chapbook, Ten Scenes with Mocking Bird, won the 2009 Tennessee Chapbook Award.

DeFoe was the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Humor & Satire

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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